Today’s Hot Take: Common Hour

Lianna Brown ’22, News Editor

I hate common hour. If you asked any of my friends, you would know that this is an opinion I express regularly, today I was at lunch at 12:20 ranting to my friends about my dislike of common hour as we watched the entree line grow longer and longer. I believe that my distaste for common hour began my first-year when I went to the caf on a Tuesday or Thursday somewhere around 12:00,  knowing I had limited time to eat and ended up having to leave without eating anything because the lines were too long and I was too overwhelmed with the atmosphere. While I understand that it was created to have more time for organizations to hold meetings, especially because I am one of those people who has a standing meeting each week during Thursday common hour, the caf is not a big enough place for everyone to eat at the same time. And, everyone tends to book meetings during common hour, so it is hard to find a space to meet with your organization to begin with. The caf stresses me out even when it is not common hour, it’s loud and crowded, and backpacks, chairs that have not been pushed in, chairs that are out of place, and packages create obstacles throughout the walkways, and the amount of times I’ve tripped or almost tripped over said obstacles is humorous at this point. Adding to my frustration, I cannot count how many of the better caf meals I have missed because I do not want to stand in line for an extended amount of time or it was too crowded to find somewhere to sit because there are too many people eating at once. The lines in the caf during common hour are usually to the door where the card-swipe lady sits. When the line only has one set of the entree line opens, the line becomes even longer and I stand there in agony, knowing that my favorite food is probably going to be out by the time I arrive in front of the server. The caf always offers its infamous mac and cheese on Tuesday during common hour lunch among other of the caf’s more edible meals, and it is infuriating. On these days, I am left knowing a meal I enjoy is being served as I eat a sad sandwich from the grab-and-go. If you want to eat somewhere other than the caf, the Snar is not the speediest place to get food to begin with, but add common hour and it takes even more time to get a pita and the Quarry isn’t much better. Even the mailroom can be a hassle during common hour, as students know that is a time they will be in or around the HUB or it is a time they are free. While I do appreciate that during common hour, organizations have tables in the Underground or on Britton about important events or topics, that is not enough to convince me that common hour is a good idea. Every time my friends offer up the idea of eating anywhere on campus at 12:00, I always have to decline, knowing that I will be annoyed with the wait. Sure, you can call me impatient, but when I arrive at a food establishment on campus, I prefer to be able to eat in a timely manner.